Monday, August 27, 2007

It’s Build A House Where We Can Stay

There’s a new museum on the way. The Alcúdia town hall has agreed that the central Culture Ministry (in a consortium with the town hall, the Balearic Government and the Mallorca Council) will take responsibility for the construction of a new Pollentia Museum (Pollentia being the Roman town). This will be sited opposite the school (close to Mercadona and next to Sa Romana restaurant) on the Calle Pollentia. The hope is that this will offer something more dynamic than the current small museum next to the Sant Jaume church. Well, we’ll see. To be brutally frank, the current museum is a tad unimpressive, so anything would be an improvement. With the mooted arts and sciences museum on the site of the old power station by the commercial port (23 May: Red Rain), the new building will give - in the words of Ultima Hora - “a great impulse to cultural tourism in the north of Mallorca”. Maybe. I’m yet to be convinced, though if the power station site really does have something exciting, that impulse could yet be realised.

The hike in interest rates coming from the European Central Bank is having a negative effect in the sense that - obviously - mortgage repayments have risen substantially. Moreover, according to the head of the association of Balearic estate agents, the interest rises have caused a fall in demand by as much as 20%. While defaults are not necessarily going to happen, the Spanish central bank has nevertheless called on banks to try and prevent defaulting (which has, presumably, to mean a limit on credit). Putting this in context, there has been an annual 7% increase in the granting of loans/mortgages over the past three years. So, while the property market has been buoyant, the worry is that it has been predicated - as in other countries - on too-easy credit. Talking to local estate agents, it is clear that the market has, certainly at the lower and middle ends, all but ground to a halt.

Yesterday - Joni Mitchell. Today’s title is a line from ... ?


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